The deteriorating roof of St Matthew's church in Leyburn, North Yorkshire has been given a lifeline for repairs.

The National Churches Trust has given the building a £10,000 grant to help restore it.

In recent years as slates fell off the roof more water has been getting through which has weakened the roof timbers.

Any delay with repairs would threaten the remarkable roof of this Grade II-listed building and could make the building unusable.

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Reverend Stephen Hanscombe, vicar of St Matthew's church, said: "We at St Matthew’s Church are very grateful for the grant of £10,000 received from the National Churches Trust.

"This grant has enabled us to replace the south side of the roof where there was rain ingress at the chancel arch and where there was a hole in the roof.

The Northern Echo: St Matthew's Church

"The grant has meant that we have been able to complete this work before another winter comes along. 

"The grant also means that we are able to continue to offer the community activities which take place in our building as well as being a place of spiritual reflection and worship for the community of Leyburn and the many visitors who enter into our building."

Clair Walker, chief executive of the National Churches Trust, emphasised the importance of the church in the community.

The Northern Echo: Inside St Matthew's Church

She said: "I’m delighted that the National Churches Trust is able to support St Matthew’s church with funding for an urgent re-roofing project.

"This will safeguard the unique heritage of this ancient and historic church and keep it open and in use for the benefit of local people.

"Whether seeking quiet reflection, access to community services or a place to worship, the National Churches Trust helps hundreds of churches each year and with the support of local people, keeps them open and thriving."

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St Matthew’s church was completed in 1868 as a daughter church of Wensley Parish.

It is the only church designed by Christopher George Wray and is described as being in the geometrical style.

The tower displays the only public clock in Leyburn.